I Turned A Corner!

When I stitched the first border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I did what I do to all my blocks and borders.  I washed the border.  (I should mention that I pre-wash all of my fabrics in Synthrapol before I cut into them.)  Something odd happened.  For the very first time one of my red fabrics ran. Yikes!  You can read more about that post here.  If you remember, I Googled “what do I do when my fabrics run” and did exactly what I was told!  I went to the store and purchased Oxi-Clean and some colour magnet sheets so I could re-wash the border and (hopefully!) remove the spots of red.  The article I read also said to dry the fabric as soon as possible so, once the border was re-washed, I put it in the dryer and all was good.  The red marks disappeared!

When I put the border on the paper pattern to trim it to the correct size, I noticed that the the appliques didn’t exactly match what was on the paper pattern.  It looked like the area that was appliqued had shrunk in length.   I know that a certain amount of shrinkage happens because of all the stitching.  And the dryer would have caused a certain amount of shrinkage, also.  Certainly not the end of the world!  This is what I did to correct the (minor) problem…..

Just to give you an idea of  how much shrinkage there was, the bud is supposed to be where my finger is.  Just so you are not confused, you can only applique so far to the edge of the border, then the overlappping pieces can be glued and stitched in place once the corner block is added.

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I moved the bud to where it was “supposed” to be.  (Luckily, I had not stitched it in place yet!)

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Next, I cut the bias stem.  Notice I cut it under a piece of bias that crossed over it, so I could hide the join.

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I just added a longer piece of bias.

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Then  I added a leaf  to fill in the space.  Looks good to me!

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So once I shifted a few more pieces (and added 3 extra leaves) to fill in the space, the corner is finally complete!

I decided not to wash the corner block until it was part of the border.  That way, I could also wash the pieces that overlapped the borders and the block.  I filled the bathtub with just a few inches of water and placed the body of the quilt on the edge of the tub.  I may not sound like it, but I was starting to get a little stressed!!

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Once all the glue and starch was washed out, I pressed the water out and laid it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.   All is good!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Progress feels good!

I am finally seeing some progress on a few of the quilts I am working on.  As you can tell, I like to hand-applique and hand-quilt.  As we all are very aware, both are time consuming, and it can be a long time before any results can be seen. So when I get close to finishing anything, I get really excited

First, I woke up yesterday with one thing on my mind.  Finishing the hand-quilting on Circle of Tulips!  I am sooooo close!  I must admit, though, I have been in my pre-mourning stage for a week or two.  I start to miss the quilt before it’s even finished and I wonder what I will do to fill the void.  Sad, but true!!

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So, after a couple of hours  of stitching and watching re-runs of Downton Abbey, I am finished!  Yippee!!

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Now, I just have to bind it!  The pattern for this block is available as a free download on my website.

I have also been making some progress on the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  This is the left side of the vase almost finished.DSCN5735

So, now it’s time to start the right side of the vase!  I added the fern and a few roses and buds.

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These borders have lots (I mean lots!) of bias stems on it.  So I end up with lots of short pieces.  This is how I use up those tiny pieces…

I find a spot on the pattern where I can inconspicuously hide the joins.  Now you see the joins….

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…and now you don’t!!

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To keep my (extremely unorganized) self from losing track of all those leaves and flowers, I prep them in my usual way and then I glue the pieces to the paper pattern.  Also, when I cut the freezer paper shapes out, I place them on the paper pattern in the spot they will eventually be glued and stitched, just to keep everything nice and organized.

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So, now I just pick up each piece and place it on the background.  Easy peasy!

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So…here is the right side of the border!

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And, finally, the border is (almost!) finished…I just have a bit of stitching to do!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Always more than one option….

It occurs to me from time to time that quilting is a lot like life.  You rarely are in a situation where you do not have options.  And the option you choose is really up to you (and not the Quilt Police!).  There are a few dainty buds in the border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  How you decide to make them is totally up to you!

Here are the buds……they are the same but I am going to prep them two different ways.

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First, I ironed both buds to the wrong side of the fabric and cut them out.

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For the first bud, I prepped it in my normal way.

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Next, I removed the freezer paper and cut out the circle to use as a pattern for the red centre and prepped it.

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Bud #1.

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For Bud # 2, I decided to do reverse applique.  I think this term often confuses people. (You are not appliqueing in reverse!) You are simply reversing the layers.  For Bud #1, I placed the red piece on top of the green piece.  Bud #2 involves placing the green piece on top of the red piece.

This technique involves cutting a hole in the centre of the fabric and still leave a seam allowance that you can turn.

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I carefull clipped the seam allowance.  You can see that I didn’t clip right up to the freezer paper.  And you can see how small the hole is!

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Then I carefully turned the inner edge.

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And once the outer edge was prepped, I removed the freezer paper.

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And finally, I cut a piece of red to place under the bud.  There is no need to prep the edges of the red piece of fabric.  It will be covered up.

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So here are both buds glued in placed in the border.  Remember, you always have options!!

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In my spare time I am still making hexies…and still loving it!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

Prepping and prepping…..

I have been spending most of my spare time prepping the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I must admit, it is a little tedious, however, I am sticking with it!!   It isn’t long before this…

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…and this…

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….becomes this!  For those people who have asked how I prep my pieces, you can see more here.

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Once the pieces are prepped, I use a dab of glue and attach them to the paper pattern.  I do this for a  few reasons…one is so I can make sure I prep all of the pieces and don’t forget any.  The second reason is so I do not lose any pieces (been there, done that!).  And I can preview my fabrics, which is especially useful when doing multi-couloured flowers.

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Once I get a section prepped, I am eager to glue it to the background and then I stitch it in place.  I find it easier to break the process down into smaller chunks rather than to try to do the prepping all at once, then all of the stitching at once.  That is just the way I work!

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Yes, I have been hexi-ing!  I have a special project in mind!

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And finally, I am in the process of turning the last(!) corner of Circle of Tulips.  So exciting!

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Speaking of excitement…my Civil War Bride Quilt received a ribbon at the Plowing Match Quilt Competition!  All quilts that received a ribbon will be exhibited in the Lifestyles Area at the 2014 Simcoe County International Plowing Match and Rural Expo September 16-20, 2014.  Sweet!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

Life Is Good!

My Hubby and I are going on a little holiday.  We are leaving for Florida on Thursday, and, of course, I am busy packing!  But, I am even busier prepping the final borders of my Civil War Bride quilt.  I like to take my stitching with me wherever I go.  Heaven forbid I be on vacation with nothing to do!

So here is the bottom border.

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Next I started on the top (and final!) border.  First I glued all the bias stems in place.

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Then I glued all the leaves in place.  My bias strips were not long enough to do the whole vine, so I overlapped them and  placed a leaf on top to hide  the join.

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Next I added the flowers, flower centers and a couple of love birds.

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I wasn’t really happy with the leaves that covered the joins of the bias strips.  I thought it looked like I was trying to cover something up…..hmmm….I was trying to cover something up!  So I decided to add a couple of butterflies instead!  Now I am ready for a vacation!

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Believe it or not, I think I might just be getting the hang of hand-quilting on a frame.  I no longer want to pick the frame up and heave it across the room!  Life is good!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Finally! Something in my hoop!

I casually mentioned to my husband that I would be on my hands and knees later that evening and he was free to join me!  He could even take photos!  Finally….I had his attention.  He asked me what I had in mind.  I told him I needed help basting my quilt together, of course!

First, we pinned the backing to the carpet.  I use large safety pins and pin directly into the under padding.  In a couple of weeks, we will be replacing the carpets with hardwood floor.  Not sure where I will be basting my quilts, but I will figure that out when the time comes!  I make sure the backing is smooth and fairly taut and free of cat hair!

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Next, I lay the batting on the backing and smooth any wrinkles there may be.  I am using wool batting for this quilt.  If you haven’t tried wool batting yet, what are you waiting for?  It needles like a dream!

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Then, I put the quilt top on the batting and, starting at the very center, I smooth it out nice and flat. The top is already marked!   I spent the last couple of evenings marking the quilt top with feathered wreaths and 3/4″ cross-hatching.  I didn’t mark the outer borders because I am not sure what I want to do, yet.  I have time to think about it!

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Now comes the fun part.   I start at the centre and baste the three layers together.  The trick is not to stitch into the carpet, and to actually stitch all the layers!  I use an embroidery needle with a large eye and cotton thread.  I baste in a grid, with my basting stitches going both horizontal and vertical.

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I like to keep my lines of basting about 4″-5″ apart.

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The best part…..something to stitch!

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Til next time…

Kerry

A Challenge…or is it?

As I was getting ready to start the next (and last!!) block of Civil War Bride, I noticed the horse shapes looked a little challenging.  If I were to cut in between the horse’s legs, there would not be much of a seam allowance.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am always up for a challenge!  But it just takes a few simple steps to turn a challenging shape into something very do-able.  So here is what I did…

First, I added a few lines.

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So, now I have 3 very simple shapes!

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I prepped the legs and glued them in place…

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I started to prep the body, but I thought the ears looked a little dicey.  So I drew a line…

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…..and I made another simple shape.

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I glued the ear in place…

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And, finally…a very easy to stitch horse!  And I didn’t even break a sweat!

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With this cooler than normal weather, I am able to hand-quilt most nights.  The borders are coming along very nicely.  I am finished the bottom border and I have passed the half-way mark of the side border.

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Finally, here is the last completed block of Civil War Bride!

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Til next time….

Kerry

An Epiphany!

I must say I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly I am quilting the borders of “Bouquet For A New Day”.  The bottom border is finished and I have now marked the side borders.  As I was marking the borders, my mind wandered and I had an epiphany!  ( a sudden realization–a flash of recognition in which someone or something is seen in a new light).

I thought…it is all well and good that the borders match up in the center of the border.  But…wouldn’t it be interesting to put a design or something at the center and have the borders flow out from the design?? I thought it would be fun to incorporate 2013 in the top border (the year this quilt better be finished!)  So here is what I did…

First, I found a font in Illustrator that suited the quilt.  Then I drew an oval around it and printed it out.  The borders are only 5″ wide so the design could only be around 4″ tall.  Next, I drew some  lines on the pattern to help center it on the border fabric.

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I put the quilt on my light box and placed the pattern just under the top layer.  I used the lines on the pattern to make sure everything was nicely centered.

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Next, I drew the lines with a Frixion marker.

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Then, using the stencil I continued drawing the border, until I reached the oval.

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I flipped the stencil over and continued on my merry way.  Easy peasy!

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In the meantime, I have been working away on the next Civil War Bride block.  This block consists of a lot of layering.  For instance…first the leaves, then the stem and then the feet!

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This is the block so far!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Setting the Table

For some reason, this block seemed to be taking a long time!  Finally, it’s finished!

The first thing I did was change the carpet.  I wanted the tablecloth to be the focus of this block.  The first fabric I used for the carpet fought with the fabric for the tablecloth, so I changed it.  Maybe it’s because they both read as “mediums” or maybe it’s because they are both “busy”.  Either way, it just wasn’t working!   I prefer to audition a few (or more!) fabrics until I find the one that screams “I am the one!”

Out with the old…

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…in with the new!

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Next, I  added the bottom layer of the tablecloth.  I did not need to make another template, I just used the one from the original tablecloth.  Of course, it didn’t have to be the full size, so I just used what I needed.

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Then, I added the vase, some vines and a couple of apple stems.  The fabric for the vase is from a line called “Maid of Honor” by Bonnie Sullivan and Maywood Studios.  It actually looks like cracked pottery!

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Lots of leaves followed, along with a couple of apples. Or are they peaches?

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This morning I embroidered the cherry stems…

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…and yippee!  This block has just had a bubble bath and is resting comfortably!!

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Til next time…

Kerry